Warehousing and storage - total number of warehouses in the U.S. 2007-2018

Since 2010, the number of warehouses in the United States has been growing at an increasing rate every year, reaching 18,182 in 2018. This compares to 15,152 in 2010.

Reason for increase

Analysts offer two main reasons for the increase in warehousing in the United States. First is the general improvement in the manufacturing sector following the great recession, although this has started to decline in recent months due to increasing friction between China and the United States over trade. Second is the continued growth of e-commerce, which has a particular need for warehousing services owing to its lack of retail space.

Warehousing in the United States

Warehousing in the United States is a large industry, employing around 6 million people in 2018 (if transportation services are included). This number is expected to decline in coming years though, with the increasing automation of many tasks formerly reserved for human staff. There are two main drivers behind the adoption of technology. First is to reduce costs, with over 90 percent of warehouse operators reporting they are actively taking cost-cutting measures. Second is the difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified hourly workers, which was reported as the leading challenge for the industry in 2018.

Total number of warehouses in the United States from 2007 to 2018

Number of warehouses
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Source

Release date

2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

2007 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Preliminary figure
Values are for private establishments.

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Statistics on "Commercial property in the U.S."

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